The government plans to change the legal definition of wine following Brexit, to reflect demand for low-alcohol versions of the drink.

The change is part of a wider package of measures designed to boost British winemaking in the wake of the UK's exit from the EU. The government says Brexit presents a "unique opportunity" to review "overly complex" EU-era regulations governing the sector.

Legally, wine must be produced by the alcoholic fermentation of grape juice. Alcohol-free and low-alcohol versions are made by removing the alcohol afterwards through a variety of techniques. However, in order to be labelled as "wine" it currently needs to have a minimum 8.5% ABV, or 4.5% for certain brands of wine that can only be produced in certain regions. Such naming rules do not apply to low or alcohol-free beer or cider, which are easier and cheaper to produce and have grown in popularity in recent years. Now, the government has confirmed it intends to lower the minimum ABV to 0% for all types of wine, following a consultation on the plans.

Wine and Spirit Trade Association Policy Director Simon Stannard observed that “further description” would be required to maintain the confidence of consumers.

More information here: Wine definition to be watered down in post-Brexit move - BBC News

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